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Shazam-Not-Wow

We’ve finally–via Entertainment Weekly–got an officially-sanctioned image of Zachary Levi in his Shazam costume.

And while the costume itself looks fine–as much of the Internet noticed from not-so-officially sanctioned set photos–Levi doesn’t look so good in it.

The greatest problems is the (fake) muscularity of his chest and biceps and questions or proportionality. What we’ve ended up with is not at all proportional to Levi himself so it comes off as if he’s got some weird physical deformities (did I mention how wonky his thighs look compared to his ankles).

With actors like Chris Evans, Henry Cavil and Ben Affleck their suits seemed to better accent their actual builds, as opposed to just adding bulk.

It won’t by any means kill the movie, it’s not exactly the best of omens that something so relatively simple goes so blatantly wrong.

And to think, all they needed to do is hire Dwayne Johnson to play the character and is wouldn’t even be an issue.

Moana – Teaser Trailer

Disney’s Moana is going to be huge.  And that’s saying something when you consider that  both Frozen and Zootopia are both members of the Billion Dollar Club.

Though Moana is powered by Dwayne Johnson, one of the most bankable action stars today.

Besides, the trailer looks like a of of fun (and it can’t hurt that it features songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton).

San Andreas – International Trailer 1

Disaster movies are kind of fascinating, if only because I get the feeling that many of us think that they somehow couldn’t happen to us (and sure, if you’re talking about movies like Independence Day or Man of Steel-mediocre superhero film, great disaster movie–then you’re probably right).

I don’t think that this tendency is exclusively an American one, though since one of our biggest exports to the world are movies and television shows, it’s more noticeable.  For example, the upcoming disaster movie San Andreas happens to take place in California, a part of the country known for tectonic instability, though interestingly the biggest measured earthquake in this country happened not there, but in Alaska in 1964.

It killed 131 people and the following tsunami caused $2.3 billion in property damage, making it the second largest temblor, worldwide.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it may be cool to see the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) save people in the knick of time, but that scenario–minus Johnson–not only isn’t that far-fetched, but is eventually even likely, depending upon where in the country you happen to live.

If you ask me, that’s pretty sobering.

‘Hercules’ Trailer 1

Remember the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare?  In the story a tortoise races a hare, which under normal conditions can easily expected to beat such a slow-moving animal.

Though because the hare rests on its laurels, the tortoise is given an opportunity to not only catch up to it, but eventually win the race. It won because the tortoise, despite being slower, was persistent and kept working diligently toward its goal.

The same thing happens with movies, though victory generally goes to the fleet of foot.  For instance, last year Filmdistrict’s “Olympus Has Fallen” beat  “White House Down” to the box office and earned over $161 million.  By the time “White House Down” was released a few months later, many people probably assumed that they had seen it already, since it has virtually the same storyline as “Olympus Has Fallen.”

At the end of the day, “Olympus Had Fallen” was successful, while “White House Down” was not (though that also had something to do with ‘Olympus’ costing half as much to produce).

Some thought that history would repeat itself when Renny Harlin’s “The Legend of Hercules” came out before Brett Ratner’s “Hercules.”

Though despite being first to the gate, Harlin’s film lacked the endurance to complete the race.  Brett Ratner’s version, starring Dwayne Johnson is now at the starting line, though only time will tell if it has what it takes to win.

‘Hercules: The Legend Begins’ Trailer

Image courtesy of hercules3dmovie.com

Image courtesy of hercules3dmovie.com

I am not sure that I crazy about the Hercules being blond (I am partial to the Marvel version of the character) but other than that, I like what I see.

Now this is Hercules!

Now this is Hercules!

This is the first of two Hercules movies in development.  It stars Kellan Lutz and is directed by Renny Harlin (The Long Kiss Goodnight, Deep Blue Sea, Cutthroat Island, etc).  The other is by Brett Ratner, and stars Dwayne Johnson.  Harlin’s movie is being released by Summit/Millennium and will probably come out before Ratner’s, which is important because Millennium’s “Olympus Has Fallen” came out before Sony’s “White House Down,” and did very well, while the latter didn’t.

If the trailer for “Hercules: The Legend Begins” is any indication, visually it has a scope and a scale that invites comparisons to Peter Jackson’s ‘Rings’ films.

Besides, Renny Harlin is a significantly more interesting director that Brett Ratner, as well as better at his craft.  He’s done a greater variety of projects, and has tackled more genre films.  That being said, Dwayne Johnson is a much more engaging actor than Kellan Lutz.  I wouldn’t say that Lutz is ‘charisma-challenged,’ more so than Johnson is remarkably appealing.

Though Harlin’s film has Scott Adkins, who’s always interesting to watch.

‘G.I. Joe: Retribution’ Review

G.I. Joe: Retribution movie poster

“”G.I. Joe: Retribution” isn’t a good film, though there’s enough things blowing up on screen to keep everyone entertained (which is kinda sad when you think about it).”

To enjoy genre films, be they scifi, horror, fantasy, or anything for that matter, it’s necessary for the viewer to accept that the world that the story takes place in as real.

And I don’t mean “real” in the sense that you leave the theater expecting to see Iron Man or Jason–Bourne, Voorhees, or accompanied by the Argonauts–to come strolling down the street.

Instead, within the confides of the theater, alone in the dark, you make a pact that if the filmmakers have written their characters well enough, and if the world that they exist in makes some sort of sense–no matter how strange it may appear at first glance–with logical, consistent rules, that you’ll go along with the more extraordinary aspects of the character.

But there are loopholes, ways to avoid things like consistent storytelling, if you know how.

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